The Spartans are getting used to dealing with adversity. It's time for the big men to step up and be consistent!

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Spartans getting used to dealing with adversity!

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When does it end? Now that the MSU basketball team has lost Dahlman for at least a week one has to start looking for the two distinct marks on the body of a program that has clearly been snake bit.

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I said at the beginning of the season that if Izzo got this team to it’s unprecedented tenth straight NCAA tournament that this would be in my opinion by far his best coaching job. I stand by that and still hold to that.

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As I looked ahead before the season I thought the men would go 6-10 or as good as 8-8 in the Big Ten. Before the conference play got started I went with 8-8 and that is still possible and as of now my picks have been on track. Can it last?

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At least we aren’t talking about success or failure based on talent, it is because of that snakebite. It has to do with the one big issue that so few people talk about: injuries and their affects on championships and success.

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Izzo is the master at knowing when to let up and when to push the pedal and it was that mastery that let him salvage the last few games of the pre-conference schedule. Now Izzo will have to do the same balancing act with the remaining schedule. Unfortunately his big man rotation has chosen a poor season to struggle.

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This game in State College this weekend will be huge, as the Spartans desperately need to get a game on the road. I predict the Spartans will win two on the road this year in the Big Ten and this is clearly one for the taking.

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Geary Claxton will be the key to this game for the Lions. His game reminds me a lot of Alando Tucker and I think that Raymar can equalize him. The point is that the gutsy Spartans have to have one major thing. It is time for the big men to show up as a unit.

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 I know they are young, but the Spartans still need those bigs to step up. Neitzel has been a stud with all the work he does on both sides of the ball. I am tired of hearing people talk about Rip Hamilton’s work ethic. How about Neitzel?   I get emails from people ripping on him for not scoring anymore then he does but look at how much he plays, how hard he plays, and then goes down the court to often times guards the opponents best guard.

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It’s simple. The Penn State game is huge. Not a make or break but huge. I just can’t wait to see a healthy big rotation take some pressure off of the guards and step up. If that happens, my highly optimistic 8-8 in the Big Ten may make me look somewhat smart.  Well, O.K. not that but maybe a lucky prognosticator.

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GO State!